James Augustus Baggett moved in 2004 from New York City (where he tended a 10-by-20-foot garden behind an 1850 brownstone) to Des Moines, Iowa, where the shrinking lawn in front of his Arts & Crafts bungalow is slowly being replaced with flowerbeds. An award-winning garden editor and writer for more than 30 years, James is an amateur birdwatcher and the proud owner of two undownable terriers, Finch and Phoebe.
Variegated horseradish is worth the wait. It takes a few years for the variegation to fully develop, but it’s so beautiful when it does.
Watch for cardinal courtship in your garden in midspring at the same time that the redbuds are in bloom. You’ll see the males feeding seeds to the females. They almost look like they’re kissing.
Cast-iron plant thrives on neglect. This houseplant is so slow growing. You just have to stick with it. I’ve been growing some of mine for 25 years. There are some really cool ones with polka dots, stripes and chartreuse, creamy, or golden variegations.
I’ve seen lots of people growing edibles in small spaces this year. In one Vermont garden, the gardeners grew strawberries on their driveway in long windowboxes set on milk crates to keep the rabbits from getting at the plants. They really wanted strawberries!